Daily Archives: Jun 5, 2019

    The Trump administration bans group educational and cultural trips known as ‘people to people’ travel to the island.

    The Trump administration on Tuesday imposed major new travel restrictions on visits to Cuba byUnited States citizens, including a ban on many forms of educational and recreational travel.

    The Treasury Department said in a statement that the US will no longer allow the group educational and cultural trips known as “people-to-people” travel to the island. Those trips have been used by thousands of American citizens to visit the island.

    Treasury said it would also deny permission for private and corporate aircraft and boats. However, commercial airline flights appear to be unaffected and travel for university groups, academic research, journalism and professional meetings will continue to be allowed.

    The end to group educational travel would likely deal a heavy blow to American tourism on the island, which took off after former President Barack Obama moved to ease the half-century embargo against the Cuban government in 2014.

    “It kills the people-to-people category, which is the most common way for the average American to travel to Cuba,” said Collin Laverty, head of Cuba Educational Travel, one of the largest Cuba travel companies in the US.

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the measures were a response to what it called Cuba’s “destabilising role” in the Western Hemisphere, including support for the government of President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela. Most Western countries recognise Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s legitimate president, while countries including Cuba, Russia, China and Turkey continue to support Maduro.

    “Cuba continues to play a destabilising role in the Western Hemisphere, providing a communist foothold in the region and propping up US adversaries in places like Venezuela and Nicaragua by fomenting instability, undermining the rule of law, and suppressing democratic processes,” Mnuchin said. “This administration has made a strategic decision to reverse the loosening of sanctions and other restrictions on the Cuban regime. These actions will help to keep US dollars out of the hands of Cuban military, intelligence and security services.”

    The new restrictions had been previewed by national security adviser John Bolton in an April speech in Miami to veterans of the failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion but details of the changes were not made public until Tuesday. Treasury said the sanctions would take effect on Wednesday after they are published in the Federal Register.

    Cuban officials did not immediately comment on Tuesday’s announcement.

    After President Donald Trump came to office in January 2017 promising to reverse Obama’s thaw with Cuba, he banned individual visits and, in a series of moves, limited commercial interactions with the country.

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Members of the U.S. Congress, including some of President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans as well as Democrats, are preparing legislation seeking to block his plan for $8 billion in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, congressional aides and lawmakers said on Tuesday.

      The first measures could be introduced within days, congressional aides said.

      Declaring a national emergency because of tensions with Iran, the Trump administration informed congressional committees on May 24 that it was going ahead with the 22 military deals, circumventing a long-standing precedent for lawmakers to review major weapons sales.

      The decision angered members of both parties, who worried that Trump’s decision to blow through the “holds” process would eliminate Congress’ ability to prevent not just Trump but future presidents from selling weapons where they liked.

      The array of military products cleared for sale by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo included offensive equipment like precision-guided munitions, mortars and fighter jet engines, some of which would take many months to be produced and shipped, which lawmakers said belied the administration’s contention that it was addressing an emergency.

      Some of the licenses would allow U.S. defense contractors like Raytheon Co and Boeing Co to run production lines in Saudi Arabia.

      In the House of Representatives, which is controlled by Democrats, lawmakers were considering a bill that would require the 22 licenses approved by the administration to be pulled back and resubmitted through the regular notification procedure, including a 30-day congressional review, Democratic congressional aides said.

      House members also may seek to rewrite the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 to impose tighter restrictions on the use of the “emergency authority” provision, tightening the loophole the Trump administration used to justify the sale so it could only be used for “true emergencies,” aides said.

      THE AGUSTIN “PUCHO” OLIVENCIA COMMUNITY CENTER IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE: 

      50TH ANNIVERSARY ANNUAL GREASE POLE FESTIVAL

      “EL PALO ENCEBAO”

      JULY 19TH, 2019 – JULY 21ST, 2019

      LOCATION: OLIVENCIA COMMUNITY CENTER FESTIVAL GROUNDS

      ADDRESS: 261 SWAN STREET, BUFFALO, NY 14204

      Buffalo’s longest-running ethnic festival.

      We will be celebrating 3 days of traditional music, ethnic food, and dancing. It will be a celebration of community and culture, with activities for the entire family.  

      For more information on the Festival, becoming a Sponsor, or Volunteer, please contact us at 716-852-1648, or lmmauras@gmail.com, or visit us on Facebook at Puchos Social Club or at www.puchoolivencia.com.

       

       

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